Olympus finally has some serious competition for its shockproof, waterproof mju SW series of adventure-oriented compact cameras. Ricoh has just announced the launch of the new G600, a 10-megapixel, 5x zoom camera that boasts a number of rugged features. It is shockproof against falls from 1.5 metres, waterproof to a depth of 1m, and of course fully weather and dust proof. It can operate in temperatures from -10 to +40 degrees centigrade.
Its photographic credentials are fairly impressive too. It has a zoom range equivalent to 28-140mm, a 1cm macro focusing range, and an extra-powerful flash with a range of 10m. Other features include a 2.7-inch LCD monitor, external flash hot shoe, 3200 ISO maximum sensitivity and a large Li-ion rechargeable battery good for 360 shots. It has a built-in Edit Check feature that can detect if a photo has been tampered with, vital if you're using it to record forensic evidence.
It has to be said that the G600's appearance is a little more industrial than the sleek styling of the mju range. It measures 116.5 × 68 × 32mm and weighs 260g, so it's hardly what you'd call an ultra-compact either, but it does have large controls that can be operated while wearing gloves.
Recommended retail price for the G600 is £349.99.